1996). When examining afatinib cancer the relative contributions of conduct problems, depressive affect, and the interaction of conduct problems and depressive affect on AOD use, depressive affect is not as powerful a predictor as are conduct problems. However, the interaction of the two variables (i.e., high levels of both) is a relatively powerful predictor of alcohol use, especially for younger adolescents (Maslowsky and Schulenberg, in press). Drinking Attitudes and Reasons for Using Alcohol Attitudes regarding alcohol use and reasons for use are powerful correlates and predictors of drinking behavior. Indeed, disapproval of binge drinking is one of the strongest protective factors against heavy drinking (Patrick and Schulenberg 2010).
A long-standing focus of the MTF study has been to show how, at the population level, changes in perceptions of risk about and disapproval of substance use precede changes in substance use (Bachman et al. 1998; Johnston et al. 2012; Keyes et al. 2011). A recent analysis assessed the effects of age, period (i.e., the year in which data were obtained), and cohort effects of population-based social norms regarding heavy alcohol use (i.e., level of disapproval of heavy use) on individual-level heavy drinking during adolescence. The study found that cohort effects predominated, indicating that being part of a birth cohort that reported higher disapproval of heavy drinking set the stage for lower alcohol use (Keyes et al. 2012). Motivations or reasons for drinking also are associated with alcohol use behaviors and may serve as a marker for the development of problematic behavioral patterns.
The reasons for alcohol use typically change across adolescence and into adulthood. MTF study investigators have assessed reasons for drinking using MTF study panel data following high-school seniors into young adulthood. (MTF survey questions regarding motivations are not included in the 8th- and 10th-grade surveys.) Of particular interest here, 12th-grade adolescents tend to report higher motivation for drinking to get drunk (as well as other social and coping reasons for drinking) than do young adults. Conversely, 12th graders report lower motivations to use alcohol to relax, to sleep, and because it tastes good, all of which increase across the transition to adulthood (Patrick and Brefeldin_A Schulenberg 2011; Patrick et al. 2011). It is important to understand the reasons for alcohol use among adolescents, because the reasons for use reported in 12th grade, when adolescents are about 18, show long-term longitudinal associations with alcohol use and symptoms of alcohol use disorders decades later (Patrick et al. 2011; Schulenberg et al. 1996).